Fr. René Butler MS - Christ the King - The Choice
The Choice (Christ the King: 2 Samuel 5:1-3; Colossians 1:12-20; Luke 23:35-43) Most Catholic Churches do not have a statue or other image of Jesus seated on a throne as King of the Universe. All, however, have a crucifix prominently displayed, showing Christ at the... Czytaj więcej
Fr. René Butler MS - 33rd Ordinary Sunday -...
Fearless Fear (33rd Ordinary Sunday: Malachi 3:19-20; 2 Thessalonians 3:7-12; Luke 21:5-19) The Prophet Malachi and Jesus both prophesy a time of trouble. In the first reading, “Lo, the day is coming, blazing like an oven.” In the gospel, “Days... Czytaj więcej
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Items filtered by date: October 2021

King Forever

(Christ the King: Daniel 7:13-14; Revelation 1:5-8; John 18:33-37)

Alpha is the first letter of the Greek alphabet; Omega is the last. In the New Testament (written in Greek), they appear only in Revelation, always together, four times, on the lips of Jesus who says, “I am Alpha and Omega.”

In each instance, they are accompanied by a phrase similar to what we find in today’s second reading: “the one who is and who was and who is to come, the almighty.” Elsewhere in Revelation, Jesus is called King of Kings and Lord of Lords. All of these notions, taken together, express his absolute dominion.

Daniel, in the first reading, speaks prophetically of Christ, saying, “His kingship shall not be destroyed.” In the Creed we echo the words of the Angel Gabriel to Mary, “Of his Kingdom there will be no end.”

In most parts of the modern world, monarchies have been replaced by republics with various forms of democracy. Individual Christians, too, though they call Jesus Lord, are more likely to visualize him dressed in the typical garb of his day than in royal robes. Some relate to him more easily as brother, or friend, and might even rebel against the image of Christ the King.

The last French monarchy was on its way to extinction at the time of the Apparition of Our Lady of La Salette. At that same time, religion was being ignored, if not attacked, in large swaths of the population. Anything that was perceived as domination was being rejected.

Mary did not come to restore a monarchy of any kind. She shows us her Son on the cross, stripped, wearing a crown of thorns. Submission to him is not simply submission to his authority, but to his boundless love and endless mercy.

Today, in many places and various ways, there is an effort to thrust Christian faith out of public life. In a sense, Jesus stands before a new Pilate, insisting once again, “My kingdom does not belong to this world.” His dominion is not domination.

He adds, “Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.” This is where we come in. With our charism of reconciliation, and In our La Salette tradition of penance, prayer and zeal, let us testify to his truth. As we come to the end of this liturgical year, let us pray that he will reign forever in our hearts.

Wayne Vanasse, and Fr. René Butler, M.S.

Published in MISSION (EN)

Gathered in Hope

(33rd Ordinary Sunday: Daniel 12:1-3; Hebrews 10:11-18; Mark 13:24-32)

Today, Daniel prophesies “a time unsurpassed in distress since nations began.” Jesus describes alarming signs preceding the end-time. We may be tempted to draw a correlation between these readings and our own time.

If so, we wouldn’t be the first. In fact, there has hardly been a time in the history of the Church when persecutions, natural disasters, epidemics, etc., were not seen as signs of the Second Coming of Christ.

This is not a bad thing. It reminds every generation to remain steadfast in the faith, as we joyfully anticipate the return of our Savior, who offered the necessary blood sacrifice to redeem us from sin.

The opening prayer of today’s Liturgy asks God to give us “the constant gladness of being devoted to you.” How many of us have found this? At La Salette, Mary noted that very few people attended Mass. In 1846, France was not known for its religious fervor. On the contrary, it was suffering from what we might call “faith deficit disorder (FDD).”

The Beautiful Lady proposes a kind of FDD therapy: prayer, Lenten penance, respect for the day and name of the Lord. Ever attentive to her people’s need, she not only speaks of frightful events, but offers hope as well.

Daniel writes of “everyone who is found written in the book.” Jesus says, “The Son of Man... will send out the angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the end of the earth to the end of the sky.” Mary uses simple words to express the same reality: “My children.. my people.”

She knows the wonderful truth that we find early in the Catechism of the Catholic Church: “The desire for God is written in the human heart, because man is created by God and for God; and God never ceases to draw man to himself. Only in God will he find the truth and happiness he never stops searching for” (no. 27).

The psalmist rejoices to call the Lord “my allotted portion and my cup.” All the readings today point to the God who created us in his image and who wishes to gather us to himself. Steadfast in faith, we do not fear his coming.

Wayne Vanasse, and Fr. René Butler, M.S.

Published in MISSION (EN)

The Last Full Measure

(32nd Ordinary Sunday: 1 Kings 17:10-16; Hebrews 9:24-28; Mark 12:38-44)

“Here, my child, eat some bread while we still have it this year; because I don't know who will eat any next year if the wheat keeps up like that.” When the Beautiful Lady reminded Maximin of these words spoken by his father, the boy admitted candidly, “Oh, yes, Madam, now I remember. Just then, I didn't remember it.”

Mary appeared to a people who were down to their last measure of wheat, potatoes, grapes and nuts, staring famine in the face. But their faith was weak, and they didn’t know where to turn.

Such was the situation of the widow in the first reading. But her trust in the prophet’s promise inspired her to let him have her last measure of food. In the Gospel, too, another widow, of whose history we know nothing, gave her last measure of personal means to the temple. Jesus drew his disciples’ attention to her, showing the value of true generosity animated by faith.

In the second reading the author writes of Christ: “Now once for all he has appeared at the end of the ages to take away sin by his sacrifice.” This is Jesus as Mary shows him to us at La Salette: her Son, giving the last full measure of his love, the price of our redemption.

The crucifix calls us to do the same, to give not from our excess, but generously, of our resources, or time or talents. The more we recognize what we have received, the more we should be willing to share. In Luke 6:38, Jesus says, “The measure with which you measure will in return be measured out to you.”

It may be that we have none of those things to give. But we share in the priesthood of Christ, and in the Eucharist we offer what he offered.

There is always something we can do. Look at today’s Psalm. Among God’s merciful actions we find, “The Lord keeps faith forever... the Lord loves the just.” We can foster attitudes of trust, praying for those who serve others. We can forgive, and accept forgiveness.

The full measure may not be required of us. However, Mary pleads with us to submit to her Son, and to trust in her promise of abundant harvest and abundant mercy. What is that worth to us?

Wayne Vanasse, and Fr. René Butler, M.S.

Published in MISSION (EN)
Thursday, 14 October 2021 15:29

USA - Chapter

USA – Provincial Chapter

Provincial Chapter: October 11-14 2021

New Provincial Council

Fr. William Kaliyadan, provincial superior (center)

Fr. Roland S. Nadeau, provincial vicar (right)

Fr. Ronald B. Foshage, second assistant (left)

May the Holy Spirit enlighten the new Council in the service to the Province.

Published in INFO (EN)

Great Commandments

(31st Ordinary Sunday: Deuteronomy 6:2‑6; Hebrews 7:23-28; Mark 12:28-34)

When we see images of the tablets of the Ten Commandments, they often show on one tablet our obligations to God and, on the other, our duties towards our neighbor.

The question of the scribe in today’s Gospel, and Jesus’ answer did not refer to these. However, there can be no controversy as to which of the ten came first. Rather, the debate concerned which of the 600-plus commandments and statutes of the Law was the most important.

Jesus’ response is so important that the Church gives us its source in the first reading, and the scribe repeats what Jesus says. We see here, also, an encouraging example of what it means to be in harmony with Christ’s teachings, when Jesus tells him: “You are not far from the kingdom of God.”

At La Salette, the Blessed Virgin also mirrored the same message, though from a different perspective. She showed that, by failing to give the Lord the Day he had reserved to himself, and by abusing his Name, her people did not love God.

In her message, the Beautiful Lady touched explicitly on the commandments of the “first tablet.” It would be absurd, however, to think that our duties to our neighbor were of no importance to her. In her discourse, the “Field of Coin” episode recognizes at least the responsibility of parents toward their children.

Jesus was not asked about the “second” commandment. He added it: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Leviticus 19:18). First and second are so integrated and intertwined in the Christian vision that each leads to the other, each stems from the other.

It follows that when we accept Mary’s message and respond to her tears and words, we seek reconciliation with both God and neighbor. In this way, on our journey to becoming saints, we submit to the call and charism of La Salette.

Our hearts have a deep desire to cry out with the Psalmist, “I love you, Lord, my strength!” But we have to mean it, and live it. Jesus is “able to save those who approach God through him” (second reading). When we love him and our neighbor, we hope to hear him say, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.”

Wayne Vanasse, and Fr. René Butler, M.S.

Published in MISSION (EN)

Joy-filled Prayer

(30th Ordinary Sunday: Jeremiah 31:7-9; Hebrews 5:1-6; Mark 10:46-52)

Today’s story of blind Bartimaeus is an eloquent reminder of the place for joy in the Christian life. As soon as he heard that Jesus was passing by, a joyful transformation took place within him, caused by faith and hope. He prayed well, at the top of his voice!

It can be difficult to keep a strong positive and happy disposition during prayer. Of course, we should not pretend to be happy when we are not. But in prayer we can make an effort to set aside momentarily our fears and anxieties—like Bartimaeus throwing aside his cloak—so as to find the wellspring of joy in our faith and bring it to our worship.

Our Lady of La Salette came and appeared to the two children at a place where there was not much in the way of joy. Her people had not turned to the Lord in their need, but left it to “a few elderly women” to pray and go to Mass. Although Mary showed herself as the Weeping Mother, her purpose was to point the way out of sadness and despair.

Today’s Psalm is filled with expressions of joy. It reflects the return from exile. We find the same in the first reading: “Shout with joy for Jacob, exult at the head of the nations; proclaim your praise and say: The Lord has delivered his people, the remnant of Israel.”

We are not an exile people, but at times we feel lost. In those moments, the worst thing we can do is to isolate ourselves from our faith and the worshipping community, where Jesus is our great High Priest and gives himself to us as our Bread of Life.

The psalmist says, “Those that sow in tears shall reap rejoicing... They shall come back rejoicing, carrying their sheaves.” Our Lady’s tears at La Salette hopefully lead us to this place of rejoicing as we reap the harvest of the promises she made.

And again, “The Lord has done great things for us; we are glad indeed.” We could all say the same, if only we would stop to reflect. We can compose our own Psalm of thankful praise, and should recite it often.

And if the opportunity presents itself, what is to prevent us from sharing it with those around us? Joy is infectious. Let us spread it where we can.

Wayne Vanasse, and Fr. René Butler, M.S.

Published in MISSION (EN)
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